There is a temptation to think that, when we are in pain, distress, or discomfort, we somehow lose our ability to choose our responses to outside events.
For example: when asked why they crashed their diet, a subset of people might respond, “I was hungry.” Or they might respond, “I had a craving.” Or they might respond, “I was under stress.”
Those might all be true statements— but they only speak to what INFLUENCED the choice that person made to crash their diet.
That person did not LOSE the ability to make a different choice based on those factors.
It just became more DIFFICULT to make the choice to stay on their diet.
“Difficult” is not “impossible.”
But for some reason, we often get it in our heads that it is.
We get it in our heads that if our comfort is compromised— if we’re having a hard day, if we’re stressed, if we’re tired, if we’re anxious— that we simply cannot make good decisions.
Our job is to make the very best decision— that is, the decision that is most aligned with our goals and values— that we possibly can in the moment.
Where did we get the idea that discomfort, stress, and pain make it “impossible” to make good decisions?
Let me be clear: I’m not, in any way, saying that making good decisions is always easy.
I’m saying that making a comparatively good decision is always POSSIBLE.
And if our goal is the achievement of our goals and the fulfillment of our values, making the best decisions among the available alternatives is vital.
Mind you: we can have sympathy for the fact that sometimes it’s hard to make good decisions.
We can acknowledge the fact that it’s a serious BUMMER, that making good decisions isn’t always the most comfortable or convenient thing.
I wish making good decisions was easier. I wish there weren’t factors that made it so easy to make lousy decisions sometimes and so easy to make poor decisions.
But the fact that it’s not easy doesn’t let us off the hook.
The truth is, I think some people try to convince others that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to make hard decisions is an attempt to let THEMSELVES off the hook when THEY have difficulty making poor decisions.
We don’t have to like the fact that making good decisions isn’t always easy, or that it’s our responsibility to make the best decision we can even when we don’t feel like it.
But we do have to accept it.
If we don’t accept our responsibility to make good decisions, you’d better believe that no one else is going to come along and make good decisions on your behalf…no matter what some people seem to fantasize.
And that really, is what we’re talking about: if you care about your goals, if you care about your values, if you care about your values…it’s on you to consistently make decisions that support them.
Why? Because no one else will.
No one else can— or should— care about your goals and values as much as you.
Consequently, no one else can— or should— take as much responsibility as you do for their achievement and fulfillment.
By pretending we simply cannot make good decisions when it’s inconvenient or uncomfortable, we surrender our ability to actually make our goals happen.
We basically give up on those things that should be our top priorities…all because we value our comfort too much.
It’s not worth it.
Respect your goals and values— your dreams— more than than that.
Do the hard thing. Make the better choice.
Even if it’s not easy.